Black Gold

As part of Fairtrade Label South Africa’s Fair Trade Coffee Week, Black Gold, a documentary film about the international coffee trade and its ramifications for  African coffee farmers, will be shown in Cape Town at the Labia on Orange cinema on Wednesday 11 May at 6:15pm and on Thursday 12 May at 6:15pm.

As westerners revel in designer lattes and cappuccinos, impoverished Ethiopian coffee growers suffer the bitter taste of injustice. Black Gold is an eye-opening expose of the multi-billion dollar international coffee industry that traces one man’s fight for a fair price.

Multinational coffee companies now rule our shopping malls and supermarkets and dominate an industry worth over $80 billion, making coffee the most valuable trading commodity in the world after oil.

But while we as ordinary consumers seem to pay more and more for our daily coffee fix, the price paid to coffee farmers is frequently so low that many have been forced to abandon their coffee fields.

Nowhere is this paradox more evident than in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee. Tadesse Meskela is one man on a mission to save 74,000 struggling coffee farmers from bankruptcy. As the farmers strive to harvest some of the highest quality coffee beans on the international market, Tadesse travels the world in an attempt to find buyers willing to pay a fair price.

Against the backdrop of Tadesse’s journey to London and Seattle, the enormous power of the multinational players that dominate the world’s coffee trade becomes apparent. New York commodity traders, the international coffee exchanges and the double dealings of trade ministers at the World Trade Organisation reveal the many challenges Tadesse faces in his quest for a long term solution for his farmers.

The screenings will be followed by a facilitated audience discussion.


Tickets are R20 and can be reserved by calling The Labia at (021) 424 5927. We strongly recommended that you reserve tickets to avoid disappointment.

This event is presented by the Labia, Fairtrade Label South Africa and While You Were Sleeping, a Cape Town-based non-profit film collective committed to bringing progressive, non-mainstream documentaries with important social, political and environmental messages to South African audiences.


The Labia:
021 424 5927

Official film website:

Fairtrade Label South Africa:


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